Parkour, a form of urban acrobatics where participants have to speedily navigate various obstacles by running, jumping and climbing, is fast becoming a global sporting phenomenon.

The sport, which originated in France, has rapidly gained popularity around the world, with about 35,000 practitioners – also known as "traceurs" – in the UK alone.

Now, there is even a professional tag league known as World Chase Tag, where players face-off on a parkour-like obstacle course to see who can tag their opponent faster.

So, what is parkour? It's become commonplace to see stomach-churning videos of daredevils pulling off dangerous stunts on social media, but that isn't the only element to the sport.

At its essence, the goal is to get from one point to another as efficiently as possible. Parkour athletes use a combination of movements such as running, vaulting, rolling, climbing and swinging to overcome obstacles in both rural and urban areas.

IBTimes UK met with British parkour group and two-time World Chase Tag champion Marrero Gang, made up of Jamie De Smet, Greg Ball, James Kirsop Maine, Connor O'Carroll and Kieren Owen. The group share their five essential tips for beginners who are looking to get started in parkour.

Tip 1. Join a community

Owen: "Get into the culture, get into the community, find a cool local scene of people that do it. Watch the videos, get into the whole world of parkour; it keeps your mind thinking about it and it just becomes your life quite quickly."

Tip 2. Find your strength

O'Carroll: "You got to find what you enjoy, because sometimes you'll be watching videos or you'll be getting inspired by your friends. But what they do might not be what you enjoy, so if you're trying it all day and you're struggling against it, then you could feel really down. Instead you need go out and just find what you enjoy and practice that. Practice it to your heart's content and really have a good time every time you go out."

British parkour group Marrero Gang
Members of the Marerro Gang from left to right: Jamie De Smet, Greg Ball, James Kirsop Maine, Connor O'Carroll and Kieren Owen. IBTimes UK / Sho Murakoshi

Tip 3. Learn to fall

Maine: "One of the first things I find if I look at a jump I want to do. The first thing I look for is where's the ukemi [breaking one's fall]. 'What am I going to do if I overshoot, if I undershoot, if I completely miss it.' You have to have a way out in my opinion. More than anything I hate going home with an injury. It depresses me more than anything ever, I'd rather not do a jump than have an injury."

Tip 4. Know your limits

Ball: "There will be a lot of times when you're in training and you feel like you're on fire, you feel you can do some awesome things, some big jumps just because you've seen other people doing these big jumps. You need to learn your limits, you need to know when it's time to relax and when it's time to take a step back from a jump and think, 'Is this the smartest thing for me to be doing?' Having a great community around is something that's going to help with your ego. So, don't let your ego get ahead of yourself."

Tip 5. Practice technique

De Smet: "Technique is one of the most important fundamentals of parkour. Really getting to know how your body is reacting to a certain situation, which you can improve by using technique, and practicing technique to the point where all your movement is just second nature. You don't have to think so much about what you're doing, it just happens from muscle memory. Technique is also a really good thing to work on in terms of safety as well, it keeps you safe if you know exactly how your body is going to react to a certain situation. Being able to trust yourself and trust what you can do."